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January 25, 2024

Andrea Ryan


Vice President of Public Relations

Today’s PR pros are utilizing AI to streamline processes, but the human element is still crucial.

No longer just a buzzword, AI is reshaping today’s public relations and marketing landscape; ushering in a new era of efficiencies, data optimization, and idea generation. Which is why the adoption of AI within the PR discipline has never been higher: MuckRack’s State of AI in PR study revealed that the number of PR pros who said they are using generative AI more than doubled from 28% in March of 2023 to 54% in November. This should come as no surprise given that 74% of PR practitioners report an increase in the quality of their work, and 89% say they complete projects more quickly with the help of AI tools.

But this transformation is not without its challenges: as we ride the wave of AI’s impact on PR, it is crucial to monitor the advancements and confront the challenges — from privacy concerns to the subtle nuances of bias and the potential loss of quality and unique brand voice.

Optimizing output without losing the human element

A common misconception is that AI is poised to replace human PR professionals. In reality, the technology is more likely to augment our capabilities and empower us to achieve better results. With options like Writer, OpenAI, Canva and Prowly, PR professionals now have a new batch of tools to enhance efficiency, accuracy, and personalization in their content.

By leveraging the strengths of AI, PR professionals can also streamline time-consuming and repetitive tasks like crafting emails and posting to social media, allowing them to instead focus their efforts on strategic thinking, relationship-building, and data analysis, ultimately enhancing their ability to create impactful communication strategies and drive meaningful engagements with their target audience. 

Additionally, AI can assist in content creation, media monitoring, and influencer identification, providing PR professionals with valuable support across various aspects of their campaigns. But the human element of our profession will remain, as underscored by the fact that 95% of professionals always edit the output of AI-generated content and 61% have to make edits to the text. 

Avoiding pitfalls and ensuring ethical use

From generating content and analyzing media coverage to identifying influencers and tracking campaign performance, AI has infiltrated nearly every aspect of the PR discipline. However, it is not without its limitations and potential risks:

  1. Data privacy and sensitivity: PR teams frequently deal with sensitive information about clients and their stakeholders, such as financial data, personal details and proprietary business strategies. To maintain your organization’s privacy, never input sensitive information into a machine learning platform.

  2. Misinformation: AI systems, while powerful, are not infallible and can produce inaccurate or misleading results. In the context of PR, relying solely on AI-generated content without human oversight can lead to the dissemination of misinformation. PR professionals must be vigilant in reviewing, identifying and addressing such instances.

  3. Brand voice: While prompts may include client-specific keywords or verbiage, the content that is produced often lacks a unique tone/voice that is specific to your client’s brand and/or subject matter expertise.

  4. Cost and implementation: Implementing AI in PR can involve substantial financial investments. PR professionals and organizations must carefully assess the budgetary implications of adopting AI technology, including evaluating the potential ROI and considering whether the benefits in terms of efficiency and effectiveness outweigh the initial and ongoing costs.

  5. Ethical concerns regarding transparency and bias: Maintaining open communication with stakeholders about the use of AI in PR, its limitations, and the steps taken to address biases is crucial for building trust. PR professionals need to ensure transparency in how AI tools operate, as the risk of bias in AI algorithms is a significant ethical concern. PR practitioners must actively work to identify and mitigate biases to ensure fair and equitable representation in decision-making processes.

To ensure responsible and effective use of AI, PR professionals must carefully address the challenges and navigate the evolving landscape with a balanced approach. That’s why we’ve created our own AI policies, and identified ways to responsibly incorporate AI into our own workflows.

Ready to take your PR strategy to the next level? Learn about our strategic storytelling approach and let’s set up a time to talk.